StarMobile Astra dual-SIM Android ICS TV hands-on

StarMobile Astra dual-SIM Android ICS TV hands-on

Met with the folks from StarMobile the other day when they gave me two of their newest Android smartphones. The StarMobile Astra was the one that got most of my attention because it’s an Android TV phone.

The phone has been around since October and has gotten a lot of attention for a couple of reasons.

The StarMobile Astra is a combination of an Android smartphone with pretty decent hardware configuration running ICS. It has a 4.3-inch IPS display, a dual-SIM functionality with both SIM slots able to connect to 3G networks separately and comes with a built-in analog TV tuner.

All that for a pretty interesting retail price of Php6,990.

Out of the box, the Astra reminds us of the old Desire series under HTC line-up from years back. It’s got a dark brown tone with a matte finish (they tell me a white version is coming out), a little curvy around the edges and has that solid look and feel with a bit of heft.


The 4.3-inch IPS LCD they used on the Astra looks very good. The colors are bright and crisp which compensates for the slightly low resolution (~240ppi).

The stock ICS they placed here doesn’t have any custom UI although I noticed that the icons are similar to the ones in my Asus Padfone.

If you look at the complete specs of the handset below, you’ll definitely agree that the price point put on this device is a strong challenger even if you don’t consider the TV tuner feature.

StarMobile Astra specs:
4.3-inch IPS display @ 800×480 pixels, 240ppi
MediaTek MT6577 1.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A9
PowerVR SGX 531
4GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD (8GB included)
3G/HSPA, dual-SIM, dual standby
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.0
GPS w/ aGPS support
8MP rear camera w/ dual-LED flash
VGA front-facing camera
TV Tuner (analog)
Li-Ion 1500mAh battery
Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

We also ran a couple of benchmarks on the device and got the following results — 5,722 (Antutu Benchmark) and 2,680 (Quadrant Standard). They aren’t really that impressive but the numbers are decent and could really pass as a typical result of a mid-range handset.

The TV Tuner is analog so don’t expect good quality reception from over-the-air channels. The TV antenna extends from a hidden slot at the bottom left side of the handset. What you can appreciate from this set up is that you have a large display for viewing your favorite local TV shows (I think the Astra has one of the biggest TV screens, if not the biggest, on any smartphone).

For a suggested retail price of Php6,990, it is worth considering. It has actually been my 4th handset I bring around but use it to watch TV on the road.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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33 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Crappy battery life. Better luck next time Starmobile.

  2. wengweng2003 says:

    what’s ur experience w/ the battery life?

  3. metre9dmt says:

    dual sim + TV = high power consumption no matter what your battery capacity is. Since it uses stock android OS (Ice Cream Sandwich), there is no additional power management software.

    My point is that any potential buyer should know how to configure his unit to ensure longer battery life. Also, if battery is a concern, better buy an extra batteries.

    My concerns with the unit are: (1) long-term quality of the whole unit (being a new brand); and (2) quantity and quality of authorized service centers.

  4. wala bang review? hands on lang? REVIEW pls…

  5. anduroig says:

    pwede kaya makuha ang apk file ng analog tv nito. lagay ko sa s3. hahahaha baka ma port =P

  6. andstupid says:

    and where would you get the receiver dumbass?

  7. anduroig says:

    on your ass. lol

  8. chinitoguy says:

    This will be part of my budget Android phone wishlist – Cherry Mobile Flare, Lenovo A60+, MyPhone A898, Alcatel One Touch Insight, and Star Mobile Astra. I need a dual sim back up phone for my other Globe and Smart sims.

  9. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    wish local retailers would follow Lenovo’s lead and pump up the battery on these phones

  10. Jay says:

    Had this, pero masyado madali malowbat, probably because am using wifi and TV at the same time. kaka turn off talaga pag mabilis malowbat ng battery @1500mAh what would u expect. pero ok ung naman ung response rate, may kaunti lag paro very unnoticeable naman. sa presyo, OK na rin. I use it for TV and as extra SIM keeper.

  11. jeric says:

    astra user here, the batt lasts long enough, around a day, and yung standard naman talaga sa ICS devices is around 1500-1750, so pasok naman si astra. akala naman kasi ng iba napakadali gumawa ng phone, buti nga may local brand pang lumalabas ng maayos na phone eh

  12. Ron says:

    I hope Starmobile would release an Astra sans the TV part. Could be cheaper without the TV parts. And it does look like an HTC.

  13. ruthie says:

    Epic fail yung battery nito. Mas matagal yung Myphone a878 and A898 since 1800 mah yung batt nila.

  14. @jeric says:

    Yes ICS devices is around 1500-1750mAH, but take note of the TV added. it’s basically an additional load to the power supply.

  15. Ranks says:

    eh d wag nyo gamitin ang tv duuhh??? more review please kasi iniisip kong bilhin ung titan kasi mas matagal ung batt life nya according to users. thanks :)

  16. jp says:

    Okay na sana itong phone na ito. Pang Pinoy talaga. Nilakihan lang sana nila ang RAM to 1GB and battery to at least 2000 mAh. Having an analog tv in a phone definitely warrants a larger capacity battery. Nasaan kaya ang ___ ng mga nag design ng phone na ito?

  17. chacha says:

    OKay nman cya, paguwi sa gabi na icharge, have to customize and add some battery saving app, basta dont or 30 mins to 1 hour lng gamitin ung tv, doesnt lag nman, kasi mas magamit ung wifi.
    i have a starmobile phone Neptune B501 tagal na din from the time na lumabas ito, okay pa nman, dito n lng me watch ng tv, definitely better than cherry’s .

  18. coachjojoc says:

    Been using the Astra for a few days now. And I tell my friends my backup phone is an iphone 5.

  19. ferdinand marte says:

    CM has a 5.2 TV phone (not smartphone though). I might just buy it come the 3rd time of it’s price going down hehehhe.

  20. Derpmode says:

    Too bad it won’t receive a Jellybean upgrade because of its low RAM.

  21. Lean says:

    Hahaha, apir! :))

  22. MVP_mark says:

    8mp rear camera, wala ba to autofocus? wala kc nakalagay, baka konting galaw lang, blurred pictures agad?

  23. trebor says:

    bitin ang review porket cheap smartphone pero maganda ang specs binitin pareview palibhasa gusto nyo tiyagain ireview mga branded na smartphone…para di kayo pinoy ha!

  24. h0tme says:

    To have atleast 4.0 android it’s better than to have 2.3 coz android updates so fast … i will buy this one by end of the month i know it’s worth it than buying other local brands

  25. gridlocked says:

    Mas maganda kung gumawa na lang kayo ng sarili nyong smartphones… kung makapagsalita yung iba kala ang gagaling… pero i doubt kaya nyo gumawa… price and specs is good enough… thumbs up… palibhasa gusto nyo maganda pero mura.. whahaha…. nakakaawa yung iba mag-isip…

  26. danda says:

    Malinaw po ba yung cam?????….

  27. kris says:

    kasing linaw ng kiki mo

  28. austin 3:16 says:

    Nyahaha!!! ok sagot mo kris a. iba ka

  29. Isagani D. Isidro says:

    Saan po pwedeng mag order ng Starmobile Astra.Ty!

  30. Isagani D. Isidro says:

    Available napo ba ang Black na Starmobile Astra.Thanks!

  31. Isagani D. Isidro says:

    Saan po ba makabili ng Black na Starmoble astra. Sm po ba Meron na or sa Suplier.

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